An unpretentious account of a proud career in service to public safety.

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SPECIAL AGENT MAN

MY LIFE IN THE FBI AS A TERRORIST HUNTER, HELICOPTER PILOT, AND CERTIFIED SNIPER

Conversational memoir of the author’s career in the FBI.

Moore is candid about his personal flaws and shortcomings, but most of the book is a love letter to a dangerous career and an agency filled with colleagues he admired. His assignments included counterterrorism, especially after 9/11; operator of a SWAT team that conducted surprise raids; sniper with the highest sharpshooter status; and pilot of FBI aircraft. Despite the dramatic-sounding assignments, Moore emphasizes that a career in the FBI does not involve around-the-clock adventuring; bureaucratic routine is part of the mix. Early in his career, he received a posting to the FBI office in Salt Lake City, an outpost where excitement and even normality sometimes seemed lacking. His first substantial assignment took Moore to rural Idaho, where he was keeping watch on members of a white-supremacist group known for violence. The author does not hide his mistakes due to inexperience and openly admits how fear nearly overcame him at certain moments. As he became more experienced, fear rarely entered his mind; he became an adrenaline junkie. Welcome interludes explore how Moore's career occasionally meshed well with family life, but more often kept him away from his wife and children. The section on how Moore met and romanced the woman he would marry is especially poignant and well-written, while some of the sections about pursuing criminals are less compelling because they contain too much barely relevant detail. When Moore steps back from spinning narratives about tracking specific criminals, he offers fascinating insights.

An unpretentious account of a proud career in service to public safety.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-914090-70-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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